Friday, December 6, 2013

Play Report: Day Trips in the Hommelet Area: The Tower

Thundar, Fighter1
McDowell, Thief 1
Fezziweg Cleric 3
Deah, Fighter 2

Fernac, Thief/Cardsharp/Opportunistic Coward 5
Brother Doobios Cleric 1

One day there arrived in Hommelet McDowell. He was a clever sort, and immediately marked as such by both the people of Hommelet by the long-term residents of the local inn. Indeed, he was looking for adventure and not overly particular about where he found it.

 There were options. Fezziweg, an itinerant priest of the Order of St. Bocrates, had led a years-long campaign against a group of evil men who laired in a nearby ruins. However neither he, nor his friends, Thundar and Deah had been members of the brave and perhaps very lucky company led by Gruber, Cinderblock, and Gerilynn, that had recently reached the hideout of the evil cultists who lurked beneath the ruins and nearly exterminated them. According to these adventurers, only the cult's leader had survived. If reports from neighboring Wildedge were true, the evil high priest had moved his base of operations out of the moathouse to the distant town of Marais. To the elders of Hommelet, this suggested two likely quests for a band of would-be heroes: (1) make a final foray into the moathouse and ensure that no threats remain that would prevent a work crew from completely dismantling the ruins; or (2) track down the evil high priest and destroy him and any of his remaining henchman.

There was a third choice. One of Burne's Badgers, a spearman by the name of Dithaniel had joined on with Cinderblock & co. in their successful attack.  Among the loot he'd personally recovered from the cultists was a peculiar golden key with its levers in the shape of a heart. Dithaniel had lost this key in a card game to Fernac, who had discovered that the key was hollow and concealed a map showing where to find the treasure-filled tower whose door could be opened by the heart-shaped key. Fernac showed this key to Fezziweg, Death, Thundar, and McDowell.

Intrigued as much my the map as by the promise of treasure, the group agreed that they would leave the cultists alone and instead seek the tower and lock for the heart-shaped key. Anyone familiar with James Raggi's "The Tower" first published in Fight On! Number 4 (Winter 2009) and currently available as a bonus track at the end of Death Frost Doom can guess almost exactly how it all went down. The party studied bas-reliefs in the lower levels of the tower depicting a "courtship ritual" which seemed to suggest that by casting aside their weapons and armor in favor of the thornless roses that grew outside the tower, they could open a stone box at the top of the tower and receive a reward. I'll discuss this more in a review of the adventure itself, but in summary, here's what happened: McDowell was very clever to remain alive (and poor), Fezziweg needs to re-study the acolyte's catechism, and Deah and Thundar have passed from this world.